Apostolic Palace

The Apostolic Palace (Latin: Palatium Apostolicum; Italian: Palazzo Apostolico) is the official residence of the pope, the head of the Catholic Church, located in Vatican City. It is also known as the Papal Palace, the Palace of the Vatican and the Vatican Palace. The Vatican itself refers to the building as the Palace of Sixtus V, in honor of Pope Sixtus V, who built most of the present form of the palace.[2]

0 Gardes suisses - Porte de bronze - Entrée du Palais apostolique du Vatican
The Portone di Bronzo at the Vatican Apostolic Palace entrance.

The building contains the Papal Apartments, various offices of the Catholic Church and the Holy See, private and public chapels, Vatican Museums, and the Vatican Library, including the Sistine Chapel, Raphael Rooms, and Borgia Apartment. The modern tourist can see these last and other parts of the palace, but other parts, such as the Sala Regia and Cappella Paolina, are closed to tourists. The Scala Regia can be viewed from one end but not entered.

  • Apostolic Palace
  • Palazzo Apostolico  (Italian)
Apostolic Palace 2014
Apostolic Palace is located in Vatican City
Apostolic Palace
Location on a map of Vatican City
Alternative names
  • Palace of Sixtus V
  • Palace of the Vatican
  • Papal Palace
General information
TypeOfficial residence
CountryVatican City
Coordinates41°54′13″N 012°27′23″E / 41.90361°N 12.45639°ECoordinates: 41°54′13″N 012°27′23″E / 41.90361°N 12.45639°E
Construction started30 April 1589[1]
OwnerThe Pope

History

In the fifth century, Pope Symmachus built a papal palace close to the Old St. Peter's Basilica which served an alternative residence to the Lateran Palace. The construction of a second fortified palace was sponsored by Pope Eugene III and extensively modified under Pope Innocent III in the twelfth century.[3]

Upon returning to Rome in 1377 after the interlude of the Avignon Papacy, which saw Rome subject to civil unrest and the abandonment of several Christian monuments, the popes chose to reside first at Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere and then at Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. The Vatican Palace had fallen into disrepair from lack of upkeep and the Lateran Palace underwent two destructive fires, in 1307 and 1361, which did irreparable harm.[4] In 1447, Pope Nicholas V razed the ancient fortified palace of Eugene III to erect a new building, the current Apostolic Palace.[5]

In the 15th century, the Palace was placed under the authority of a prefect. This position of Apostolic Prefect lasted from the 15th century till the 1800s, when the Papal States fell into economic difficulties. In 1884, when this post was reviewed in light of saving money, Pope Leo XIII created a committee to administer the palace.[6]

The major additions and decorations of the palace are the work of the following popes for 150 years. Construction of the current version of the palace began on 30 April 1589[1] under Pope Sixtus V and its various intrinsic parts were completed by later successors, Pope Urban VII, Pope Innocent XI and Pope Clement VIII. In the 20th century, Pope Pius XI built a monumental art gallery and museum entrance.

Construction of the Papal Palace (also known as the Apostolic Palace or Vatican Palace) at the Vatican in Vatican City, took place mainly between 1471 and 1605. Covering 162,000m squared (1,743,753 ft squared), it contains the Papal Apartments, offices of the Roman Catholic Church and Holy See, chapels, Vatican Library, museums and art galleries.[7]

Palace structure

Apostolic Palace model
A model of the palace in the Vatican Museums. The buildings are arranged around a central courtyard.

The Apostolic Palace is run by the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household. The palace is more accurately a series of self-contained buildings within the well-recognized outer structure which is arranged around the Courtyard of Sixtus V (Cortile di Sisto V). It is located northeast of St Peter's Basilica and adjacent to the Bastion of Nicholas V and Palace of Gregory XIII.

The Apostolic Palace houses both residential and support offices of various functions as well as administrative offices not focused on the life and functions of the Pope himself.

Sistine Chapel

Musei vaticani, cappella sistina, retro 02
Under the patronage of Julius II, Michelangelo painted the chapel ceiling between 1508 and 1512.

Perhaps the best known of the Palace chapels is the Sistine Chapel named in honor of Sixtus IV (Francesco della Rovere). It is famous for its decoration that was frescoed throughout by Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and others.

One of the primary functions of the chapel is as a venue for the election of each successive Pope in a conclave of the College of Cardinals. In this closed-door election, the cardinals choose a successor to the traditionally first pope, St. Peter, who is traditionally buried in the crypts of nearby St. Peter's Church.

Raphael Rooms

This suite of rooms is famous for its frescos by a large team of artists working under Raphael. They were originally intended as a suite of apartments for Pope Julius II. He commissioned Raphael, then a relatively young artist from Urbino, and his studio in 1508 or 1509 to redecorate the existing interiors of the rooms entirely. It was possibly Julius' intent to outshine the apartments of his predecessor (and rival) Pope Alexander VI, as the Stanze are directly above Alexander's Borgia Apartments. They are on the third floor, overlooking the south side of the Belvedere Courtyard.

Running from east to west, as a visitor would have entered the apartment, but reversing the sequence in which the Stanze were frescoed, and also the route of the modern visitor, the rooms are the Sala di Constantino ("Hall of Constantine"), the Stanza di Eliodoro ("Room of Heliodorus"), the Stanza della Segnatura (the earliest and the most admired) ("Room of the Signature") and the Stanza dell'Incendio del Borgo ("The Room of the Fire in the Borgo").

After the death of Julius in 1513, with two rooms frescoed, Pope Leo X continued the program. Following Raphael's death in 1520, his assistants Gianfrancesco Penni, Giulio Romano and Raffaellino del Colle finished the project with the frescoes in the Sala di Costantino.

Borgia Apartments

The Borgia Apartments is a suite of rooms in the Palace adapted for personal use by Pope Alexander VI (Rodrígo de Borgia). He commissioned the Italian painter Pinturicchio to lavishly decorate the apartments with frescoes.

The paintings and frescoes, which were executed between 1492 and 1494, drew on a complex iconographic program that used themes from medieval encyclopedias, adding an eschatological layer of meaning and celebrating the supposedly divine origins of the Borgias.[8]

The rooms are variously considered a part of the Vatican Library and Vatican Museums. Some of the rooms are now used for the Vatican Collection of Modern Religious Art, inaugurated by Pope Paul VI in 1973.

Clementine Hall

The Clementine Hall was established in the 16th century by Pope Clement VIII in honor of Pope Clement I, the third pope. Like other chapels and apartments in the Palace, the hall is notable for its large collection of frescos and other art.

Other uses

The term Apostolic Palace has been used in other contexts not directly related to the actual Palace of Sixtus V.

It has been used, for example, as a metonym for the papacy itself in the same way the term White House is used to describe the U.S.presidential administration generally, rather than the physical building itself.

The term was also referenced in the video game Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword, where a player could establish an Apostolic Palace as the symbolic "home" of a civilization's state religion.[9] While the game's developers did represent the Apostolic Palace function with an image of St. Peter's Square (adjacent to the Apostolic Palace), the image, somewhat ironically, does not actually include a view of the Palace itself. Regardless, the in-game function of the Apostolic Palace is not religion-specific and the use of the term is representative of religious administration generally, rather than a specific reference to the Vatican.

Gallery

Apostolic Palace

Apostolic Palace

Palais apostolique et aile de Constantin

Apostolic Palace from St. Peter's Square

Apostolic Palace (Lanciani)

Plan of the Apostolic Palace (1893–1901)

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b The lives of the modern painters, sculptors and architects – Giovanni Pietro Bellori
  2. ^ Vatican Press Office guide – buildings of the Vatican Archived May 29, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Le Palais du Vatican" [Palace of the Vatican] (in French). Rome Découverte. Archived from the original on 26 April 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  4. ^ Pedro Tafur, Andanças e viaje (in Spanish)
  5. ^ Müntz, Eugène (1878). Les arts à la cour des Papes pendant le XVe et le XVIe siècle (in French). Georg Olms Verlag. ISBN 9783487413006. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  6. ^ Levillain 2002, p. 1093-1094.
  7. ^ Glenday, Craig (2013). Guinness Book of World Records. p. 155. ISBN 978-1-908843-15-9.
  8. ^ Krén, Emil; Marx, Daniel. "Frescoes in the Borgia Apartments of the Palazzi Pontifici in Vatican". Web Gallery of Art. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  9. ^ Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword Official Site

References

Borgia Apartments

The Borgia Apartments are a suite of rooms in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican, adapted for personal use by Pope Alexander VI (Rodrígo de Borgia). In the late 15th century, he commissioned the Italian painter Bernardino di Betto (Pinturicchio) and his studio to decorate them with frescos.

The paintings and frescoes, which were executed between 1492 and 1494, drew on a complex iconographic program that used themes from medieval encyclopedias, adding an eschatological layer of meaning and celebrating the supposedly divine origins of the Borgias. Recent cleaning of Pinturicchio's fresco The Resurrection has revealed a scene believed to be the earliest known European depiction of Native Americans, painted just two years after Christopher Columbus returned from the New World.

Cappella Paolina

The Cappella Paolina (Pauline Chapel) is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, Vatican City. It is separated from the Sistine Chapel by the Sala Regia. It is not on any of the regular tourist itineraries.

Michelangelo’s two frescoes in the Cappella Paolina, The Conversion of Saul and The Crucifixion of St Peter were painted from 1542 to 1549, the height of his fame, but were widely viewed as disappointments and even failures by their contemporary audience. They did not conform to the compositional conventions of the time and the subject-matter is depicted in an unorthodox manner. Despite the importance of the chapel and the significance of their subjects, the frescoes were generally neglected and overlooked in favor of Michelangelo’s nearby masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel.More recently an Italian scholar has recognised Michelangelo's face both in Saint Paul and saint Pete by facial superimposition (Sandro Giometti'Michelangelo, Displaying the Invisible" TAU pub.er Todi 2018).In his last period the Artist felt himself called by Christ as an apostle of his, and expresses this by bestowing his old man's face to the young Saul on his way to Damascus. On the opposite wall he paints his self- portrait in the face of Saint Peter, who stares in a reproachful way at the cardinals and the newly elected pope for their non evangelical lifestyle.

Clementine Hall

The Clementine Hall, called the Sala Clementina (The Clementine Salon) is a hall of the Apostolic Palace near St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. It was established in the 16th century by Pope Clement VIII in honor of Pope Clement I, the third successor of St. Peter. The Clementine Hall is covered in Renaissance frescoes and valuable works of art. It is used by the pope as a reception room and in some cases, site of various ceremonies and rituals. The Clementine Hall is the chamber in which the body of the pope lies for private visitation by officials of the Vatican upon death, like that most recently of the funeral of Pope John Paul II. The pope's body is then traditionally moved from the Clementine Hall and ceremonially carried across St. Peter's Square to St. Peter's Basilica or the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano.

Collection of Modern Religious Art, Vatican Museums

The Collection of Modern Religious Art of the Vatican Museums (Musei Vaticani, Collezione Arte Religiosa Moderna) is a collection of paintings, graphic art and sculptures. It occupies 55 rooms: the Borgia Apartment (apartment of Pope Alexander VI) on the first floor of the Apostolic Palace, the two floors of the Salette Borgia, a series of rooms below the Sistine Chapel, and a series of rooms on the ground floor.

Deliverance of Saint Peter

The Liberation of Saint Peter is a fresco painting by the Italian High Renaissance artist Raphael. It was painted in 1514 as part of Raphael's commission to decorate with frescoes the rooms that are now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. It is located in the Stanza di Eliodoro, which is named after The Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple. The painting shows how Saint Peter was liberated from Herod's prison by an angel, as described in Acts 12. It is technically an overdoor.

The fresco shows three scenes in symmetrical balance formed by the feigned architecture and stairs. In the centre the angel wakes Peter, and on the right guides him past the sleeping guards. On the left side one guard has apparently noticed the light generated by the angel and wakes a comrade, pointing up to the miraculously illumined cell. This adds drama to the serene exit of Peter at the right.

Domus Sanctae Marthae

The Domus Sanctae Marthae (Latin for Saint Martha's House; Italian: Casa Santa Marta) is a building adjacent to St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. Completed in 1996, during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, it is named after Martha of Bethany, who was a sibling to Mary and Lazarus of Bethany. The building functions as a guesthouse for clergy having business with the Holy See, and as the hotel residence of the members of the College of Cardinals when they are participating in a papal conclave to elect a new Pope.

Pope Francis has lived in a penthouse suite in the building since his election in March 2013, declining to use the Papal Apartments in the Apostolic Palace.

List of papal elections

There have been 110 papal elections that have produced popes currently recognized by the Catholic Church as legitimate. There was no fixed process for papal succession before 1059 and popes were often selected with substantial secular involvement, if not outright appointment. Since the promulgation of In nomine Domini (1059), however, suffrage has been limited to the College of Cardinals.Papal elections since 1276 have taken the form of papal conclaves, which are elections that follow a set of rules and procedures developed in Ubi periculum (1274) and later papal bulls; observance of the conclave varied until 1294, but all papal elections since have followed relatively similar conclave procedures.

Although the cardinals have historically gathered at a handful of other locations within Rome and beyond, only five elections since 1455 have been held outside the Apostolic Palace. Twenty-eight papal elections have been held outside Rome, in: Terracina (1088), Cluny (1119), Velletri (1181), Verona (1185), Ferrara (October 1187), Pisa (December 1187), Perugia (1216, 1264–1265, 1285, 1292–1294, 1304–1305), Anagni (1243), Naples (1254, 1294), Viterbo (1261, 1268–1271, July 1276, August–September 1276, 1277, 1281–1282), Arezzo (January 1276), Carpentras/Lyon (1314–1316), Avignon (1334, 1342, 1352, 1362, 1370), Konstanz (1417) and Venice (1799–1800). Three elections moved between locations while in progress: the elections of 1268–71, 1292–94, and 1314–16.

Niccoline Chapel

The Niccoline Chapel (Italian: Cappella Niccolina) is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City. It is especially notable for its fresco paintings by Fra Angelico (1447–1451) and his assistants, who may have executed much of the actual work. The name is derived from its patron, Pope Nicholas V, who had it built for use as his private chapel.

The chapel is located in the Tower of Innocent III, in the most ancient part of the Apostolic Palace. The walls were decorated by Fra Angelico with images of two of the earliest Christian martyrs; the upper level has Episodes from the Life of St. Stephen, and the lower one Scenes from the life of St. Laurence. The vault is painted blue, decorated with stars, and features figures of the Four Evangelists in the corners. The pilasters are decorated with the eight Doctors of the Church.

The chapel is not included in the usual tourist visit, but can be seen by special pre-booked groups.

Papal Apartments

The Papal Apartments is the non-official designation for the collection of apartments, which are private, state, and religious, that wrap around a courtyard (the Courtyard of Sixtus V, Cortile di Sisto V) on two sides of the third (top) floor of the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City.Since the 17th century the Papal Apartments have been the official residence of the Pope in his religious capacity (as Supreme Pontiff). Prior to 1870, the Pope's official residence in his temporal capacity (as sovereign of the Papal States) was the Quirinal Palace, which is now the official residence of the President of the Italian Republic. The Papal Apartments are referred to in Italian by several terms, including appartamento nobile and appartamento pontificio.

Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo

The Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo, or the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo from its Italian name Palazzo Apostolico di Castel Gandolfo, is a 17th-century 135-acre papal palace in the city of Castel Gandolfo, Italy. A museum since October 2016, it had served for centuries as a summer residence and vacation retreat for the pope, the leader of the Catholic Church, and as such was afforded extraterritorial status as one of the properties of the Holy See.

Raphael Rooms

The four Raphael Rooms (Italian: Stanze di Raffaello) form a suite of reception rooms in the palace, the public part of the papal apartments in the Palace of the Vatican. They are famous for their frescoes, painted by Raphael and his workshop. Together with Michelangelo's ceiling frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, they are the grand fresco sequences that mark the High Renaissance in Rome.

The Stanze, as they are commonly called, were originally intended as a suite of apartments for Pope Julius II. He commissioned Raphael, then a relatively young artist from Urbino, and his studio in 1508 or 1509 to redecorate the existing interiors of the rooms entirely. It was possibly Julius' intent to outshine the apartments of his predecessor (and rival) Pope Alexander VI, as the Stanze are directly above Alexander's Borgia Apartment. They are on the third floor, overlooking the south side of the Belvedere Courtyard.

Running from east to west, as a visitor would have entered the apartment, but not following the sequence in which the Stanze were frescoed, the rooms are the Sala di Costantino ("Hall of Constantine"), the Stanza di Eliodoro ("Room of Heliodorus"), the Stanza della Segnatura ("Room of the Signatura") and the Stanza dell'Incendio del Borgo ("The Room of the Fire in the Borgo").

After the death of Julius in 1513, with two rooms frescoed, Pope Leo X continued the program. Following Raphael's death in 1520, his assistants Gianfrancesco Penni, Giulio Romano and Raffaellino del Colle finished the project with the frescoes in the Sala di Costantino.

Saint John's Tower (Vatican City)

Saint John's Tower (Italian: Torre San Giovanni) is a round structure located on a hilltop in the westernmost tip of Vatican City, near Vatican Radio and overlooking the Vatican Gardens. The Medieval tower is located along an ancient wall built by Pope Nicholas III, but it fell into disuse at the beginning of the 16th century. It was rebuilt by Pope John XXIII in the early 1960s.In modern times, the Tower houses papal apartments used by popes when maintenance work is being done on the Apostolic Palace and also is reserved for illustrious guests of the Pontiffs. In 1979, Pope John Paul II temporarily moved into Torre San Giovanni while the work in his official apartment was being completed. In 1971, Hungarian Cardinal József Mindszenty was allowed to stay in the tower by Pope Paul VI, when the prelate was allowed to leave Budapest, where he had lived in asylum at the U.S. Embassy. After Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone replaced Cardinal Angelo Sodano as Vatican Secretary of State in 2006, Cardinal Bertone lived in the tower while Cardinal Sodano continued to live in the official residence.In June 2008, the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI would welcome U.S. President George W. Bush in the Torre San Giovanni during the American President's visit to the Vatican that month, to repay Bush for the warm reception the Pope enjoyed at the White House during his April 2008 visit to the United States of America. Normally the Pope greets heads of state in his private library in the Apostolic Palace.

Currently, Saint John's Tower is the seat of the Secretariat for the Economy.

Sala Regia (Vatican)

The Sala Regia (Regal Room) is a state hall in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City.

Although not intended as such, this broad room is really an antechamber to the Sistine Chapel. It also connects to the Pauline Chapel and is reached by the long staircase known as the Scala Regia. To the left of the entrance formerly stood the papal throne, which is now at the opposite side before the door leading to the Pauline Chapel.

The hall was begun under Pope Paul III by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger and was completed in 1573. The elegant barrel vault is graced by the very impressive plaster decorations of Perino del Vaga. The stucco ornaments over the doors are by Daniele da Volterra. By 2019, the room and staircase were open to tourists who visit the Apostolic Palace.The walls were decorated by Livio Agresti, Giorgio Vasari and Taddeo Zuccari. The frescoes depict momentous turning-points in the history of the Church, including the return of Pope Gregory XI from Avignon to Rome, the Battle of Lepanto, the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, the raising of the ban from Henry IV, the reconciliation of Pope Alexander III with Frederick Barbarossa and Peter II of Aragon offering the Kingdom to Pope Innocent III.

The hall was originally used for the reception of princes and royal ambassadors, hence its name. Consistories were held in it, but were later transferred to the Saint Peter's Basilica on November 19, 2016, and the area has also provided an occasional musical recital in the presence of the pope; during a conclave it was used as a promenade for the cardinals.

Scala Regia (Vatican)

Scala Regia (Latin pronunciation: [ˈskaːla ˈreːɡia] and Italian pronunciation: [ˈskaːla ˈreːdʒia]; English: Royal Staircase) is a flight of steps in the Vatican City and is part of the formal entrance to the Vatican. It was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

The official entrance to the Apostolic Palace is the Portone di Bronzo at the north side of St Peter's Square. The door opens to the Scala Regia, which leads up to the Sala Regia, which in turn connects to the Sistine Chapel and the Pauline Chapel. Tourists are allowed to climb the staircase to enter the Sala Regia.The Scala Regia was built by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger in the early 16th century and was restored by Gian Lorenzo Bernini from 1663 to 1666.

The site for the stairs, a comparatively narrow sliver of land between church and palace, is awkwardly shaped with irregular converging walls. Bernini used a number of typically theatrical, baroque effects in order to exalt this entry point into the Vatican. The staircase proper takes the form of a barrel-vaulted colonnade that necessarily becomes narrower at the end of the vista, exaggerating the distance. Above the arch at the beginning of this vista is the coat of arms of Alexander VII, flanked by two sculpted angels.

At the base of the stairs, Bernini placed his equestrian statue of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great. It is meant to display the event, before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge when at Saxa Rubra north of Rome along the Tiber, Constantine sees a vision of the cross with the words In Hoc Signo Vinces (In this sign, you will conquer). The phrase appears prominently placed as a motto on a ribbon unfurled with a passion cross to its left, beneath a window over the Scala Regia, adjacent to the statue of Constantine. Emperors and other monarchs, having paid respects to the Pope, descended the Scala Regia, and would observe the light shining down through the window, with the motto, reminiscent of Constantine's vision, and be reminded to follow the Cross.

In Bernini's statue of Constantine, he is awed and his horse rears, as Constantine realizes that he will win only with the power of the Christ. The moral of this story would not have been lost upon royal visitors to the pope, or for that matter, Cardinals accompanying a deceased pontiff's cortege, who are meant to see the leader of the church as the embodiment of the divine power that over-rules the kings of the world. This theme is often repeated in Vatican artworks such as Giulio Romano’s fresco of The Battle of Milvian Bridge, located in the Sala di Costantino ("Hall of Constantine") as well as the marble relief in St. Peter's of Algardi’s Fuga d’Attila.

Pope Clement IX later installed a sculpture of Charlemagne in the opposite portico of St. Peter's Basilica as a pendant to that of Constantine.

The Fire in the Borgo

The Fire in the Borgo is a painting created by the workshop of the Italian renaissance artist Raphael. Though it is assumed that Raphael did make the designs for the complex composition, the fresco was most likely painted by his assistant Giulio Romano. The painting was part of Raphael's commission to decorate the rooms that are now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. It depicts Pope Leo IV halting a fire in 847 with a benediction from a balcony in front of the Old St. Peter's Basilica. The mural lends its name to the Stanza dell'incendio del Borgo ("The Room of the Fire in the Borgo").

The Mass at Bolsena

The Mass at Bolsena is a painting by the Italian renaissance artist Raphael. It was painted between 1512 and 1514 as part of Raphael's commission to decorate with frescoes the rooms that are now known as the Raphael Rooms, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. It is located in the Stanza di Eliodoro, which is named after The Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple.

The Mass at Bolsena depicts an Eucharistic miracle that is said to have taken place in 1263 at the church of Santa Cristina in Bolsena. A Bohemian priest who doubted the doctrine of transubstantiation, was celebrating mass at Bolsena, when the bread of the eucharist began to bleed. The blood that spouted from the host and fell onto the tablecloth in the shape of a cross and he was reconverted. The following year, in 1264, Pope Urban IV instituted the Feast of Corpus Christi to celebrate this miraculous event. The blood stained Corporal of Bolsena is still venerated as a major relic in the Orvieto Cathedral.

Present in this painting is a self-portrait of the artist, Raphael, as one of the Swiss Guard in the lower right of the fresco, facing out with bound-up hair. This is one of several instances in which Raphael has placed himself in his paintings. Also shown in the work is Pope Julius II (1443–1513), kneeling at the right, and his daughter Felice della Rovere, shown on the left at the bottom of the steps, in profile, in dark clothes. The four cardinals to the right have also been identified as Leonardo Grosso della Rovere, Raffaello Riario, Tommaso Riario and Agostino Spinola, relatives of Julius.

The Meeting of Leo the Great and Attila

The Meeting of Leo I and Attila is a fresco by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael and his assistant Giulio Romano. It was painted in 1514 as part of Raphael's commission to decorate the rooms that are now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. It is located in the Stanza di Eliodoro, which is named after The Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple.

The painting depicts the meeting between the Pope Leo I and Attila the Hun, and includes the images of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the sky bearing swords. Initially, Raphael depicted Leo I with the face of Pope Julius II but after Julius' death, Raphael changed the painting to resemble the new pope, Leo X.

Vatican City

Vatican City ( (listen)), officially Vatican City State (Italian: Stato della Città del Vaticano; Latin: Status Civitatis Vaticanae), is an independent city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. Established with the Lateran Treaty (1929), it is distinct from yet under "full ownership, exclusive dominion, and sovereign authority and jurisdiction" of the Holy See (Latin: Sancta Sedes). With an area of 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of about 1,000, it is the smallest state in the world by both area and population.The Vatican City is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state (a type of theocracy) ruled by the pope who is, religiously speaking, the bishop of Rome and head of the Catholic Church. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergy of various national origins. Since the return of the popes from Avignon in 1377, they have generally resided at the Apostolic Palace within what is now Vatican City, although at times residing instead in the Quirinal Palace in Rome or elsewhere.

The Holy See dates back to early Christianity, and is the primate episcopal see of the Catholic Church, with 1.3 billion Catholics around the world distributed in the Latin Church and 23 Eastern Catholic Churches. The independent Vatican City-state, on the other hand, came into existence in 11 February 1929 by the Lateran Treaty between the Holy See and Italy, which spoke of it as a new creation, not as a vestige of the much larger Papal States (756–1870), which had previously encompassed much of central Italy.

Within the Vatican City are religious and cultural sites such as St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. They feature some of the world's most famous paintings and sculptures. The unique economy of Vatican City is supported financially by the sale of postage stamps and souvenirs, fees for admission to museums, and sales of publications.

Vatican Historical Museum

The Vatican Historical Museum (Italian: Museo storico vaticano) is one of the sections of the Vatican Museums. It was founded in 1973 at the behest of Pope Paul VI, and was initially hosted in environments under the Square Garden. In 1987 it was moved to the main floor of the Apostolic Palace of the Lateran and opened in March 1991.

The Vatican Historical Museum has a unique collection of portraits of the Popes from the sixteenth century to date, the memorable items of the Papal Military Corps of the 16–17th centuries and old religious paraphernalia related to rituals of the papacy. Also on display on the lower floor are the papamobili (Popemobiles); carriages and motorcars of Popes and Cardinals, including the first cars used by Popes.

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